Ohio State Releases Two Players from Scholarships
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — On the same day Urban Meyer introduced his new coaching staff to a sold-out crowd at Value City Arena, he also announced the departure of two football players.
According to an Ohio State spokesperson, defensive backs Dominic Clarke and DerJuan “Peewee” Gambrell have both been released from their scholarships for violating team rules.
Clarke, a redshirt junior out of Frederick, Md. started three games for the Buckeyes to open the 2011 season, but was arrested last Saturday by Ohio State University police for operating a vehicle while impaired.
Gambrell, a redshirt freshman out of Toledo Rogers, was also arrested last week on charges of menacing and resisting arrest, according to a police report. The incident reportedly involved the mother of his child.
Meyer said this past week that he would not make an example of a kid, but he was “very, very disappointed” in Clarke, especially considering what was covered in the first team meeting with the new coaching staff.
“That's not going to happen,” Meyer said Thursday.
“However, he broke a team rule. I'm still getting the information. I don't really know him. I think I've met him one time. We can’t rush it because I just don’t know the whole (story). Once we do, you’ll be made aware. Really disappointed though.”
Clarke, who was Ohio State’s No. 3 cornerback for most of the season, was also arrested back in Oct. He was charged with disorderly conduct after University police said he discharged a BB gun near a restaurant on Ohio State’s campus.
Interim head coach Luke Fickell suspended Clarke for the Illinois game on Oct. 15, but he played in all 12 other games, including the Gator Bowl loss to Florida. The Buckeyes return both starting corners—Travis Howard and Bradley Roby—for 2012, but the losses of Clarke and Gambrell hurt their depth at cornerback.
Sophomore-to-be Doran Grant will likely ascend to the No. 3 corner spot in Clarke’s absence, but the Buckeyes don’t have much depth after that. Redshirt junior Corey Brown can play both corner and safety, but Ohio State did lose backup safety Jeremy Cash earlier this week.
The sophomore-to-be asked to be released from his scholarship in order to pursue a transfer. Along with quarterback Taylor Graham, the Buckeyes have now lost four underclassmen—either to transfer or violation of team rules—since Meyer took over as head coach on Jan. 3.
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